Sunday, 9 September 2012

Spare Parts

I happen to work in one of the most rewarding industries within the engineering sector. The prosthetics industry is actually considered a niche market for some, whilst still representing a whole world for all the amputees around the world.


It is a world that might seem quite straight forward and simple for most of the people, but it is actually complex and exciting. Currently, prosthetics combine materials engineering, using the same technology and processes used in Formula 1 cars (carbon fibre and related) and medical expertise, turning it into a very human engineering discipline.

It is now that probably, thanks to personalities like Oscar Pistorius (controversies aside), he has lifted the prosthetics public awareness to a whole new level. Probably his presence in the press has helped and inspired a lot of amputees to be proud of their prosthesis, to go out there and show it, and definitely, has boosted the industry to keep going forward innovating in their products. Even recently, the English Jonnie Peacock, has put Team GB hopes up winning gold running the 100 m.


And coincidentally, just in time for the warm welcomed Olympic and Paralympic Games, an exhibition called Spare Parts started to bloom in all respectable blog's newsletter advising about its content and reviewing in quite well.

This Paralympics games have succeeded as the most ticketed Games of all time, warming even more the hearts of all the athletes.

But yeah, that was Spare Parts is all about. A celebration of life improvement. A celebration of prosthetics.



A number of artist from all over the World gathered to use used prosthesis as a blank canvas and this way. The prosthesis have been donated by amputees themselves, prosthetic clinics and hospital and families of amputees.


The venue? The Rag Factory, right in the middle of Brick Lane: Curry Capital of 2012, opposite to Brick Lane's Mosque.









A pair of Endolite's Multiflex feet decorated for signalling.


Upper limb prosthetiss named 'Hannya Mask, Botan' by Xico Fmt. Apparently he used real tattoo techniques (as he is a tattoo artist), so freehand drawn, needles and ink.







Beautiful



Probably one of my favourites. Ridiculously cute transformation of what I think it is an Össur Modular III.



Upper limb prosthesis. Another really beautiful piece.






Old school prosthesis. When they used to be made out of aluminium, leather and wood.






Lovely paper cutout on what looks like an Endolite SuperSACH


I loved this upper limb transformation.






Nice hands










I called it The Nail Leg. The artwork by Patience Hodgson, from the Australian band The Grates. The leg, from Adam Hills, also Australian Actor.





Quite impressive wooden building in a cosmesis




Reminds of the current Yarn bombing street art










Another of my favourites




Loved the details of this one. Specially the highlighted shows to watch.




Stuart Huges turn. BBC reporter that unfortunately stepped on an anti-personnel mine around 2003 in Iraq. He, very kindly, offered his first prosthesis to the exhibition and his bombproof jacket and helmet. The jacket was actually there for us to try it on: quite impressive to be wearing such a heavy garment. Even though he's missing a limb, his prosthesis does not stop him for traveling all around the world and make us aware of what's happening.





Sophie De Oliveira, and her impressive job with The Alternative Limb Project. Because prosthetic covers don't have to be flesh colour. Currently this new generation are both beautiful yet realistic. I actually had the opportunity to witness the silicone laboratory myself: such an amazing craftsmanship job, carefully moulding thin layers of colour-matched silicone, that get carefully layered into the main block of silicone. So skillfull that is currently is mainly done by film prosthetic professionals.

Here a photo of Sophie, carefully placing of those silicone layers.


Very impressive alternative prosthesis also designed by Sophie:

The first one, for the model and singer Viktoria Modesta, who will actually perform on the closing ceremony of the Paralympic Games. It is very interesting checking out her portfolio of photos to see the great display of brilliant prosthesis that she wears for her show.



One of my favourites, a prosthetic arm decorated with a green snake, worn by the swimmer Jo-Jo Cranfield. It really suits her!








Here the lovely Priscilla. Amputee herself wearing a gorgeous bespoke cover.


Needless to say, I was very looking forward to seeing this exhibition.

We will all go back home on Sunday to watch the Paralympics closing ceremony (yeah, won't try to get to any public space to watch it. Been there twice. Won't try again. Long story).

That's when the proper sport withdrawal will start to kick in. Let's see what I use to ease that pain.

That will definitely be another story.





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